Bulwark Intelligence




Introduction: Mob violence, which is also known as jungle justice has emerged as a formidable challenge in Nigeria, casting a shadow over the nation’s security landscape. It epitomizes a vigilante form of justice, orchestrated by the populace and devoid of legal proceedings. This extrajudicial phenomenon is often carried out by a collective of onlookers, often identified as ‘street guys’ or ‘garage boys.’ These individuals assume the roles of witness, accuser, judge, and executor simultaneously, subjecting an alleged criminal or suspect to humiliation, physical abuse, or even death. According to a report by SBM intelligence, at least 391 persons have been killed by mobs across several states in Nigeria between 2019 and May 2022. In Nigeria, socio-economic disparities, ethnic tensions, and a lack of trust in law enforcement contribute to the breeding ground for such incidents. Economic frustration and political dissatisfaction can quickly escalate into collective violence, fueled by a sense of injustice and a perceived absence of viable channels for expressing grievances. Notable cases of mob action in Nigeria: Over the years, mob actions have been reported across all the geopolitical zones in Nigeria with the majority of these incidents occurring frequently in the southern parts of the country. Some of these incidents include; On 5 October 2012, in Aluu, a community in Obio-Akpor LGA of Rivers state – 4 students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) were lynched over an alleged robbery incident. On 12 May 2022, Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level college student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto was killed by a mob of Muslim students over allegations of blasphemy against Islam. On 12 May 2022, a sound engineer, David Imoh, was lynched at Lekki, Lagos State by commercial motorcyclists after an altercation. On 11 April 2023, a civil engineering student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Okoli Ahinze, was beaten to death by a group of students for allegedly stealing a mobile phone. On 11 April 2023, an angry mob stoned a 35-year-old driver to death for allegedly killing 2 persons and injuring 6 others in an accident at Ijoka Road, Akure, Ondo State. On 25 June 2023, an irate mob killed a butcher, Usman Buda, over allegations of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammed in Sokoto. Security Implications: Like other forms of violence, mob attacks have impacts on the security situation of a country, these include; Erosion of Rule of Law: Mob violence undermines the rule of law, as citizens take matters into their own hands when they perceive a failure of the legal system. This erosion weakens the foundations of a stable and secure society. Impact on Economic Stability: The sporadic nature of mob violence can disrupt economic activities, particularly in urban centres. Businesses may suffer losses, and investor confidence can wane, affecting the overall economic stability of the country. Challenges to Law Enforcement: Security forces face challenges in managing and preventing mob violence due to its spontaneous nature. The lack of intelligence and preparedness can lead to difficulties in maintaining public order. Possible Countermeasures: Strategic approaches should be considered to reduce and possibly curb this trend. Here are a few; Improved Law Enforcement Training: Enhancing the training of law enforcement agencies to effectively manage and de-escalate situations is essential. This includes fostering community-oriented policing practices. Public Awareness Campaigns: Informing the public about the consequences of mob violence and promoting peaceful conflict resolution can contribute to a shift in societal attitudes. Legal Reforms: Strengthening the judicial system and addressing issues of impunity can deter individuals from resorting to mob justice. Legal reforms should aim to restore confidence in the justice system. Conclusion: Reports have shown that mob justice thrives where governance is weak and corrupt and where the criminal justice system is compromised. Other reports have linked this to poverty and prevalent crime where citizens vent their frustration on suspects. Hence addressing the menace of mob violence in Nigeria requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses social, economic, and political dimensions. The collective efforts of communities, law enforcement, and policymakers are paramount in steering the nation away from the destabilizing effects of mob violence.

CURATED OSINT, Nigeria, Reports, security analysis, SECURITY THREATS, TERRORISM


Ochlocracy: Government by a mob! Jungle Justice is an ochlocracy where a mob decides to be the judge, jury, and executioner of an accused (whether legitimately or falsely). In May 2022 alone: 2 May: Two suspected robbers were set ablaze in Makurdi, Benue State. 3 May: One suspected robber was set ablaze along Owerri-Orlu road in Owerri North, Imo State. 11 May: Two suspected phone thieves were set ablaze around Cele Bus stop in Lagos state when they were found with 18 phones. 11 May: A female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education was killed and set ablaze after being accused of blasphemy in Sokoto State. 12 May: A sound engineer was killed and set ablaze by commercial motorcycle riders (okada), over a minor cost dispute, in the Lekki area of Lagos State. On the surface, it may seem satisfying to know that quick justice is being served especially in a country where minor disputes could take up to five years in a criminal court of law- if it gets resolved at all. However, jungle justice has been single-handedly responsible for the false accusation, injury, and death of many innocent Nigerians and few falsely accused victims are alive to recount their ordeal. Take the story of Saminu Ibrahim who went to the bank to withdraw money, when one of the bank staff suddenly got hysterical and claimed his penis had vanished. Within a split second, the crowd had gathered, taking the accuser’s word as final and were ready to pounce on Saminu, when some policemen showed up and intervened. A similar incident occurred when Olabiyi Olayemi was falsely accused of theft when he was trying to tow a vehicle which he thought was his boss’s. The vehicle was the same colour, make and model as the one he was looking for. Unbeknownst to him, the correct vehicle was parked on the next street. Once the tow truck began the process of evacuating the vehicle, a crowd gathered around and accused him of theft. In a flash, he was beaten, a tire was thrown around his neck and had been doused with petrol. A man with the matchbox was about to strike it when the police shot in the air to disperse the crowd. Further investigation revealed it was a case of mistaken identity. There are many more stories like these which help explain why jungle justice must never be supported or condoned. The fact that one false accusation can, in a split second, lead to a life being taken forever, should remain a stark reminder that everything about jungle justice is unjust. ​_ Click here to view Tableau dashboard No Justice, No Peace The lack of trust in the Nigerian judicial system is what has fuelled mob attacks and jungle justice. Much of the insecurity in Nigeria is a direct result of the inefficient and ineffective judicial system. Banditry is a symptom of the same judicial system problems. Take for example the story of Turji Bello, one of the most feared bandits operating in North-West Nigeria, who in a recent interview explained his deep-rooted motivation for going into that line of business. Turji stated: Over a thousand cattle were taken away from us. On that day, six of our little siblings were killed. Our parents went through all the courts, but they couldn’t get back their cattle. They also connived with Yan Sakai (local vigilante) and slaughtered my uncle. Where does a commoner seek redress? … my father was involved in a court case for seven years over corn stalks. Just for corn stalks! And he went through all the courts including the one in Abuja… I swear to Allah that in our household we had over 100 cows, but we were left with just 20. You can confirm all that I have told you from the traditional rulers. I can bring the defendant (in my father’s court case); the case dragged on for years, since I was small and lasted till my adulthood. There is also nowhere that our parents did not go to get justice over the confiscation of our lands. All these are known to the Emir of Shinkafi. He knew our parents for years and they were not bandits. There was never a case of rustling reported to him. But they rustled our cows and killed our brothers and rendered us worthless. There is no authority to complain to, no one to seek redress from. Would you forever be crying? You will get tired of crying and seek for solution. And this is our problem in this country. Little Turji saw his father patiently seek justice through the courts, to no avail. As a young man, he directly witnessed discrimination, humiliation, attacks, and loss of loved ones, with no justice, meted out to perpetrators. Finally, young adult Turji decided within himself, to hell with the courts, if we want justice, we have to get it for ourselves. He and his group sourced weapons through Nigeria’s practically non-existent borders, they armed themselves to ensure their jungle justice. They began attacking innocent civilians, kidnapping, torturing, raping, maiming, killing, and burning people and villages. The banditry epidemic Nigeria is currently experiencing is what happens when justice is not served, and conflicts are not resolved. Citizens take the law into their own hands until they morph into terrorist groups. Solutions Nigeria’s constitution under sections 33, 34 and 36 has a lot to say about fundamental rights, including the right to life, the right to human dignity, and the right to a fair hearing. But when the constitution is not upheld, citizens will take matters into their own hands. The bandits ravaging the Northwest certainly did and exasperated citizens across the land from Lagos, to Sokoto, are equally doing the same. If people could trust that when they have a dispute, they could easily and quickly lodge their complaints, get a fair hearing and a fair resolution, most would go that route. But the current justice model does not provide for this. Justice sector reform  One of the major challenges in the justice sector is

CRIME, CURATED OSINT, Nigeria, Reports


The gross disregard for human life has become quite common in Nigeria, owing to the actions and inactions of state and non-state actors, which has created avenues for direct and indirect harm on the general population, such as: Through the unchecked proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) which has created avenues for lethal armed assaults by a slew of actors. Gross mistreatment of civilians by security officers which has created mush mistrust and disdain for security institutions. The impunity of extra-judicial mobs demonstrates the judicial institutions’ lack of significance and efficacy. Growing sleaze among the populace, given the lack of leadership in the country, and inattention by institutions in charge of defending national values’ and providing reorientation for the public, against a slew of other social vices. Nigeria is recognised as the “Giant of Africa” due to various factors such as its territory, large population and resources, among others; yet it is rarely observed or likely overlooked that Nigeria as a giant, has the greatest fatality toll in West Africa, an undisputed status since 2010. While Nigeria’s fatality statistics continue to fluctuate, there has been a significant increase in fatality tolls since 2010. The statistics soared in 2015 with a sharp suppression between 2016 and 2019 with a sudden spike observed in 2018. However, since 2020, we have seen a steady rise in fatality tolls. Using Tableau’s exponential smoothing model, we can observe a predicted increase in fatality toll trend in the coming months having considered seasonal trends from the previous year with a 99 per cent prediction interval, the expected fatality toll for this year is 13,455. Given the current trend of violent crimes in the country, and the activities likely to occur during the election season. This projection verdict stands as a percentage increase/change of 34.307/34.3% that was obtained while comparing cumulative fatalities in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 (2,670) with that of 2022 (3,586). The first quarter of 2022 has the second-highest mortality rate (12,624) after the first quarter of 2015, which has the highest fatality toll recorded in the last 12 years. One of the contributing factors to the toll is insecurity in the form of low-intensity conflict predominant in three Northern regions namely the; The Northeast, Northwest, and Central. Due the high levels of armed conflict (sectarian, communal, ethnic), organised crime (abductions, armed robbery, banditry), and terrorism. Insecurity consisting of a plethora of actors remains a leading factor in high fatality rates, albeit Governments intensified kinetic and non-kinetic approaches towards tracking, arresting, and prosecuting criminal actors which has remained quite effective at curtailing and deterring prevalent cases of armed conflict, organised crime, and terrorism, however, the impact on the civilian populations remains very severe. So far, 45,671 civilian fatalities (according to https://acleddata.com) have been recorded since 2010 till the third quarter of 2022, which is 51.63% of total fatalities. SALW proliferation continues to be an enabler for armed conflict, organised crime, and terrorism, resulting in the displacement of local native communities, particularly in the North with the ripple effect having a devastating impact on human security, sabotaging non-kinetic efforts, frustrating security efforts, and encouraging political instability. As a result, without arms control, there can be no stable or post-conflict environment, just the preponderance of active and latent conflict environments across the country. Deborah Samuel, a student at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State, Nigeria’s Northwest region, was lynched and immolated on 12 May 2022, by an enraged mixed mob of men and women at the institution’s security post (cell) after being accused of blasphemy against an Islamic Prophet by her Muslim colleagues. Following the arrest of the key suspects in the crime, followers of the perpetrators blocked a major highway in the city centre on 14 May 2022 to urge their release, stating that their actions were not criminal but a religious responsibility as Muslims. In the evening of 14 May, 2022, only two days after the Sokoto tragedy, young men identified as musicians were beaten to pup along Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1. One victim was later immolated, while the other is alleged to be in critical condition at an unidentified hospital in Lagos. According to local sources, an argument had ensued during negotiation between the victim and his motorcycle rider (okada), which drew the attention of a gang of riders which deteriorated to the point whereby the victim was physically assaulted and clothes torn apart, leaving him naked, while sticks and stones were hauled at him. In the viral footage, we could see a large crowd of spectators watching helplessly as this brutal act unfolded, but most concerning was the absence of intervention by Government Security Forces despite being strategically situated near the attack scene. The latest occurrence of lynching assaults is one of many instances of extrajudicial killing mobs and atrocities that indicate not just people’s contempt for established authority, but also groups’ impunity for lawbreaking. Mob violence has grown common in Nigeria and it is widely seen as the most expedient manner of obtaining justice when a crime or misdeed has been perpetrated or allegedly committed. The cause of these dark ages actions is a top-to-bottom defiance of the Nigerian judicial system, which has frequently been met with defiance of the rule of law by the country’s elite, particularly the common collusion with security operatives or courts to free suspects or arrest persons of interest by private citizens. Unchecked killings have prompted many to question the government at the state and federal levels for allowing such incidents to occur in the first place, as well as the hesitant approach taken to curbing these excesses of the breakdown of law and order, particularly at the state level which is undoubtedly likely to worsen unless both State and Federal authorities work in harmony. On the flip side, it is a pipe dream given the prioritisation of political interests over many national issues, for example, in Imo State, the All-Progressive Congress (APC) under the State Governor has repeatedly


Mob set bus ablaze for killing okada rider in Ikorodu

A mob of protesters has reportedly set a commercial vehicle on fire, accusing its driver of killing an Okada rider in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State. The incident, it was gathered, happened on Saturday night around the Lagos State Polytechnic Campus in Ikorodu. The 14-seater passenger bus was said to have developed a mechanical…

The post Mob set bus ablaze for killing okada rider in Ikorodu appeared first on InsideMainland.


Mob buries man alive for beheading his brother in Cross River

Residents of Liokom village in the Wanihem community, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, refused to be pacified on Wednesday following reports that a man beheading his elder brother. Herald Nigeria gathered that the villagers swooped in on him and buried him alive the same grave with his slain brother. Narrating the incident, […]

The post Mob buries man alive for beheading his brother in Cross River appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.

daily subscription

Tension in Kaduna as mob lynched suspected thief to death

…18 arrested, as crisis escalates   There was pandemonium in Kaduna metropolis on Monday morning, as angry mob were said to have lynched to death, a man suspected to have burgled a house the previous night in Kabala West area of the city. Security agencies have however arrested 18 persons suspected to have been involved in theRead More

The post Tension in Kaduna as mob lynched suspected thief to death appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

daily subscription

Adeleke’s Burial: Mob brings down canopy on Amosun, Akeredolu, others

IRKED by the presence of Hon. Idiat Babalola, a commissioner-nominee of Governor Rauf Aregbesola at the burial of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, supporters of the late Senator brought down a canopy on governors of Ogun and Ondo states, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

The post Adeleke’s Burial: Mob brings down canopy on Amosun, Akeredolu, others appeared first on Vanguard News.

Scroll to Top